Saturday, September 8, 2012

the emu over parkes

this gorgeous photo was taken by a student who has been working with me in australia for the last several months.  she took some time to travel around the country a bit and captured this wonderful photo at parkes observatory

Photo Credit: Gabriela Iacobuta

at the bottom of the photo is the parkes radio dish, glowing slightly during the long exposure.   stretching up into the night sky is the long milky way galaxy.  the dark, cloudy patches of the milky way, the dust blocking the stars shining behind it, are the basis of a very famous australian aboriginal astronomical feature: the emu. 

i didnt see the emu in the milky way when i first arrived here.  maybe that's because i didnt really know what an emu looked like!  they are big huge birds:

Photo Credit: Link
do you see it now?  no?

Photo Credit: Barnaby Norris

hopefully that image helps!

i can usually see the emu now - its head is the dark patch (coalsack nebula) right by the southern cross and then it stretches all the way across the sky!   i think its fascinating that in addition to creating images by connecting the stellar dots across the sky, the aboriginal cultures created stories about the regions of the sky that lack stars.... the dark spots!


Andy Callaway said...

Have you been up close to them so you can hear them? They make a booming noise.
Don't get too close, however, as they'll steal your sandwiches (spoken from experience).

astropixie said...

good to know! :)

no, i've never been close to an emu. i've only seen one in the wild and it was pretty far away. they are around siding spring observatory, but i havent been lucky enough to see one yet. :( maybe on my next trip...

The Jackass-Penguin Show said...

Wonderful photography. The emu is clearly visible! Definitely not an ostrich, or a rhea...

Sakib said...

To me, the inclusion of an artificial structure in the picture evokes a sense of awe in that we are so insignificant and tiny in comparison to the infinite grand cosmos. We are stardust and the universe is inside us!